TOKYO – A Japanese court dismissed a request to halt deportation proceedings against fugitive chess legend Bobby Fischer (search), his lawyers said Friday.
Fischer, wanted in the United States for allegedly violating international sanctions on the former Yugoslavia (search), was detained in Japan last month when trying to travel on an invalid American passport. He has been battling a deportation order to the United States.
The Tokyo District Court rejected the request to have Japanese immigration officials halt procedures to deport him, his legal team said in a faxed statement late Friday.
Fischer's lawyers immediately filed an appeal with the Tokyo High Court, calling the decision unjust and unreasonable.
Earlier in the day, Fischer's lead lawyer, Masako Suzuki, had predicted such an outcome and filed a separate request to the Justice Ministry, asking that Fischer not be immediately deported in the case of an unfavorable court decision.
Masako Suzuki argued that immediate deportation would violate Fischer's rights to a fair trial, according to a faxed copy of the request.
The request also said that Fischer, 61, should be allowed to stay in Japan upon humanitarian grounds, citing his plans to marry a Japanese woman.
Earlier this week, Miyoko Watai (search), head of the Japan Chess Association, announced she and Fischer were engaged. Watai denied the engagement was intended to influence the deportation proceedings.
Fischer has fought deportation since being detained July 13 by attempting to seek political asylum in Japan or a third country, as well as renounce his U.S. citizenship.
Fischer rose to chess stardom by defeating Boris Spassky, formerly of the Soviet Union, in a series of games in 1972 to claim the world championship.
In a 1992 rematch against Spassky, Fischer won and collected more than $3 million in prize money. He violated U.N. sanctions by attending the match held in the former Yugoslavia and has been wanted in the United States ever since.